Is my kitten a Maine Coon Cat?

After reading this thread, I’m beginning to think that one of our cats might be part MC! She’s a mixed breed, from the SPCA, but is huge, and whiny (which might be interepreted as a trill, I guess - she has a very kitten-like highpitched voice, almost a scream). Her hair is very thick around her neck, and she has gigantic paws. She’ll climb onto your lap for attention even if you don’t want her to - for her, just being next to you is enough to set her to rattling off that purr of hers for hours, you don’t even have to actually pet her! Shes perpetually hungry, which doesn’t really mean anything breedwise, I suppose, but its something we’ve definitely observed about her. She likes to play in the sink too, and doesn’t mind getting her paws wet. Very very playful, even at 9 years old (though now that we have a 9 month old kitten, the other one looks downright lazy in comparison!) I’d also describe this cat as being unbelieveably stupid - she’s kind of klutzy and only wants food and an ear scratch, EVER!

Who knows. Maybe there’s more to her than I thought!

Maceo likes to be held by being tossed over my shoulder too. That’s the ONLY way he’ll allow me to carry him. As for having a baby voice, he’s only 7 months, but his meow is high-pitched. But like I said, his mother is your basic calico, so he’s only half if he’s any at all. Maybe these traits just crop up in cats naturally and were selected for by breeders, making it a recognized breed.

That is probably the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen. Biggest too.

I didn’t know that servals were kept as pets. It is a beautiful cat, but imagine what those claws would do to the couch! I’ve heard of people having ocelots has pets too. Apparently they purr and are very friendly.

The behavior characteristics you’ve described hit the mark with a number of maine coons I’ve had. However… I’ve seen other cats exhibit the same personality traits.

One suggestion, does the pattern of fur on the cat’s head match the pictures of the purebreeds other people linked to? Also, take small wadded up pieces of paper and see if your kitten wants to play catch. EVERY Maine Coon I’ve had plays catch and fetch with paperwads.

As kittens there isn’t really much you can do to distinguish a Maine Coon from other breeds of cat. The mane hasn’t developed yet, they aren’t fully grown (which takes 4 or 5 years – MC’s develop slowly). And the general personality type of the Main Coons will be mimmicked by other breeds. Yes MC’s are laidback, big fluffy teddy bears for the most part. But I’ve seen a number of other breeds act the same way.

Main Coons have an extra toe on their front paws.

Everything said above is more or less true. I’ve had 8 or 9 maine coons over the years (we keep losing cats to fluke diseases :() but there are exceptions. We’ve had one with small little rat-like tails. Another was undersized (around 13lbs vs 19-22 for the rest), one bad tempered, two without manes.

Maine Coons mature VERY slowly. Generally reaching full size around age 5. So in 4 years or so, if you’ve got this huge 20 lb cat with an enormous mane then you’ve got a maine coon. Also, the overlarge feet seems to be a predominate trait with the males.

Hrrm, if I can figure out how, I’ll post a picture of Brechin. I’ve got a picture of him in my office on the sofa at my parents house. He takes up a little more than 1/3rd of the sofa.

Maceo has not one but two extra toes on his front feet and one on the back. His front feet look like a regular paw with the four main toes, and then a separate half foot with the three thumbs. that part of his foot also has a small palm pad. His feet are so huge that they wrap around 270 degrees of his leg.

At only 7 months, he already has a mane. Bob55’s cat and my cat have similar hair growth patterns on the head, though Maceo’s head is still smallish, though I’d say he’s pretty damn big for a 7 month old.

His fur is also an unusual texture. It’s VERY soft and fluffy, not sleek and flat like the other kitties’. His hair seems finer and lighter, and felts velvety. Is this a Maine Coon trait?

Maine Coons are VERY fluffy. And are often described as shaggy bears. We’re talking HUGE coats of fur here. But again, that’s a general trait of long haired cats.

Anyhoo, I’d say it’s pretty likely that it’s either a Maine Coon or part Maine Coon.

I’ve wondered if one of my cats had some MC heritage. I think she must, though it’s pretty far removed. She has that thick ruff of hair at her nape, a long tail that’s definitely made for wrapping around the nose, lots of long ear hair and thick hair between her big toes. She doesn’t have the extra toes, though, and she doesn’t trill.

Servals, Caracals, and Bobcats are very popular pets where it is legal to own them (and sometimes where it isn’t!). They breed well in captivity, are small enough to kinda live as housecats and to not be extremely dangerous, and, if raised properly, bond well with humans. You can buy a bottle-raised Serval or Caracal kitten from a reputable breeder for about $1500; Bobcats are often no more than $500. At risk of setting off an anti-declawing riot, most of these cats are humanely declawed while only a few weeks old. (I do NOT want to get into a declawing debate - I don’t do it, if anyone is wondering.)

Jungle Cats also make excellent pets, and are not that much larger than a housecat. However, they’re not as flashy-looking as the others mentioned, so have not achieved the same popularity.

Ocelots seem to have been the ‘original’ wildcat-pet-of-choice, but are now seriously endangered due to hunting and habitat loss. You must have a license from the US Dept. of Interior and, I believe, the USDA, to own one. Despite the fact that all wild felids are considered ‘endangered’, many of them are actually plentiful in the wild and breed well in captivity. (Some species don’t - Cheetahs were only successfully captive-bred within the last 3 years or so, and I don’t think anyone has managed to successfully breed Clouded Leopards.) Tigers and lions are only endangered in their native habitats - they adapt to captivity and human contact quite well, and reproduce enthusiastically - zoos and such have to use various birth control methods to keep from having huge, unmanageable surpluses of these cats.

A little surprise for those of you who don’t know this - apparently all of the felid species can interbreed and produce viable offspring to one degree or another; the only limitations are major differences in physical size (tiger and domestic cat just doesn’t work), and different lengths of gestation. Even the New World cats (ocelots, jaguars, margays, etc.), who have one less chromosome pair than Old World species, can produce offspring with their more chromosomally-blessed relatives. (Well, this is much closer than donkeys and horses.) Hybrids with chromosome differences are usually sterile; in the other species the males are usually sterile, but the females are often fertile and will even breed with another species to produce things like tiger/lion/leopard mixes.

If anyone is interested in seeing some of these strange combinations, here are some links (one page includes photos of a leopard attempting to mate with a lioness - it’s pretty funny to a cat breeder who has watched their smaller cousins behave identically.): (pretty good article, not 100% accurate, a couple of so-so pics)
(extensive, slow-loading site with lots of great pics)

And, if anyone has the time and patience to wait on the download (takes forever on a dial-up), here is a link to, hopefully, the future of the Bengal cat breed - an F2 male (no, not mine :(). This is the most spectacular Bengal I have ever seen - the extensive, beautiful photos are well worth the wait - this cat literally takes my breath away. Yes, this is basically a 10 lb. domestic cat! [sub]I’d sacrifice a body part to own him; I’d sacrifice a significant body part if he’s actually fertile[/sub]

Awagati’s Zoot Suit

Umm . . . sorry for the hijack away from Maine Coons. Those of you who like MCs might like to also check out the Siberian and the Norwegian Forest Cat, two large, rugged ‘relatives’ of the MC (similar appearance, same type background except developed in different countries/regions). A hint - ‘Wegies’ or ‘NFCs’ are Norwegians, like ‘Meezers’ are Siamese and ‘Himmys’ are Himalayans.

…my cat’s name…is Maceo…


Continuing the hijack:

Does this also apply to hybrid ocicats or is it just for the full-bloods?


:eek: WANT:eek:

And now back to your regularly scheduled Maine Coon discussion.

Coosa, your hijack was fascinating. I’m interested in cats in general, but I didn’t know that all cats, even the larger Pantera felids, could breed with the Felis cats.

I did know that breeding cheetahs in captivity has been very difficult, mostly b/c they require large territories in order to mate. Something like that. I visited the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound in Palmdale a few years ago, and they were saying that they wanted to acquire land in order to breed cheetahs, but apparently they haven’t been able to do it. Here’s a link:

I will try to post pictures of my cat somewhere so I can get a professional opinion on his Maine Coon-ness. Can I post pictures on here? Forgive me, I’m new-ish.

PS–Bre’r Lappin, next time I’ll be sure to consult you before I name my cats. Sorry you didn’t get the reference.

Actually, I was going for a reference myself.
Apparently not the same one.

Spazcat said:

Possibly some confusion here - Ocicats are not descended from wild/domestic hybrids - they are purely Felis domesticus. From the website:

Ocicats are beautiful cats and come in many unusual colors not allowed in the Bengal, but they are not Ocelot hybrids. Ocicats made their appearance at about the same time as the Bengal, the first and, at the time the only, successful wild-hybrid breed. (Please note - by “successful” I mean that generations beyond the original F1 were produced until reliably fertility in both sexes appeared, making it possible to create a ‘domestic cat breed’ with wild ancestors. Only the females in the first 3 generations of descent are reliably fertile - consistent male fertility doesn’t appear until the 4th generation in Bengals.)
This led many people to assume, wrongly, that the Oci was also a wild-hybrid breed.

As far as I know, there are no Ocelot/domestic hybrids - probably never will be because of their scarcity; all captive Ocelots that are capable of producing offspring are almost certainly not going to be wasted/risked on such a project. It would most likely be futile in respects to creating something like the Bengal, anyway, because the Ocelot is a New World felid with one less chromosomal pair than domestic cats - Margays and Geoffrey’s Cats have both been successfully bred with domestics, but so far all of the offspring have been sterile. The attempt is still being made with the Geoffrey’s Cat because they are not really endangered, and based on current knowledge occasionally the chromosomes should match up in a way that will produce a fertile female; there is a much greater chromosomal difference between donkeys and horses, but on very rare occasions a mare mule has proven to be fertile.

I’m providing links to information about all of the wild-hybrid breeds I know of, which are in various stages of development.
(NOTE: Pixie-Bobs and American Bobtails are not Bobcat hybrids! No matter what some people claim.)

Toygers (Bengals crossed with domestics to create “miniature tigers” - still very much in development!)
(Bengal x Oriental Shorthair cross, intended to resemble a Serval)

Chausie (Jungle Cat x domestic)
Savannah (Serval x domestic - really difficult because of difference in gestation time - but they’ve made it 5th generation now!)
Bagral or Machbagral (Fishing Cat x domestic - up to 3rd generation, I believe)
Safari(Geoffrey’s Cat x domestic - no progress past F1 that I’ve heard.)

Another NOTE of CAUTION: These cat breeds are very controversial, despite the tremendous success of the Bengal. CFA won’t even knowingly allow a Bengal in their show halls, although they are, as far as I can discover, the only registry in the world that doesn’t accept them. If you want to own one, make sure you check your municipal, county, and state laws carefully - all of the hybrid breeds are illegal in Georgia, for example, because of the way their wildlife law is worded, and just a few months ago we fought (and won) a battle against the city of Denver when their Animal Control tried to confiscate a pet Bengal, claiming it was a dangerous animal. :rolleyes:

Heh . . . I recognize that feeling. :slight_smile: Actually, you can get pretty close right now - check out Tarzan or DiCaprio. In a few years Bengals like Zoot Suit should be much more common, if we don’t get legislated out of existence first.

Whew! Tracking all of that down took a while. Rubystreak, I’ll get back to you in a little while - I’ve got to take a break!

Oh, will mention this first - nope, can’t post pics on the message board. That feature is disabled due to past abuse and overworked hamsters.

Bre’r Lappin: Sorry I assumed you were being rude. What’s your Maceo reference? Mine is James Brown’s sax player.

No hard feelings?

I wonder about all these “Main Coon” traits.

I have a cat who loves to play with water. She is always waiting for me to get out of the tub or shower. She and I play fetch with her toys. And, she hates to be held but is very friendly and loves to sit in anyone’s lap. All of these things have been mentioned at traits of a Main Coon. But, my cat is not a Main Coon.

Aren’t most of these things that some cats do anyway rather then traits of a specific breed?

Or even a Maine Coon. :o

Sorry about the continued hijack, but…

A couple of weeks ago I had to give up my Bengal for adoption – he’s a seal lynx point, if anybody’s interested – and he went to a Bengal rescue run by a longtime breeder. He doesn’t show cats anymore but he still breeds the kittens to raise money to run the rescue. He has a TON of BEAUTIFUL cats, all in prime health and well-treated, and he found a home for my Cloud within a week! I HATED giving my kitty up, but sometimes ya gotta do that sort of thing.

He has what is apparently a seriously unusual cat – a friendly F1 male! His name is Pretty Boy and is he EVER. He lives in the house instead of out with the other foundation cats. I don’t have any pictures, but he is SPECTACULAR. And I got to pet him!

I didn’t find out that Bengals are illegal in Georgia until after I’d left. Weird.

Weird. I also had a Mine Coon named Misha. You’re not my ex-girlfriend, are you? :smiley:

Another thing about Maine Coons: they tend to talk a lot. Misha talked a LOT. If the cat was awake it was meowing, for no apparent reason. For the whole 2-3 years I lived with my ex. It was maddening.

It wore a little hardhat with a little flashlight on it.